View Full Version : Minnesota Requires Radon Mitigation In New Homes

Bruce Breedlove
05-10-2007, 01:07 PM
Radon Bill Signed By Gov. Pawlenty (http://wcco.com/consumer/local_story_126141750.html)

May 6, 2007

New homes in Minnesota will have something that no other state requires: systems to remove radon. The new law caps off three years of reporting by the I-TEAM.

Gov. Tim Pawlenty signed the radon bill into law Friday, along with several other bills. With his signature, he helped make new homes in the state safer.

You only need to look at Liz Hoffmann to know one person can make a difference.

"I have never smoked. No history of lung cancer. No reason why I should have had lung cancer," she said.

At age 37, she was given the grim diagnosis. The cause was in her home, where radon gas measured double the level considered safe.

Liz shared her story with the I-TEAM three years ago and inspired 87,000 Minnesotans to test their homes for radon. The latest results showed two out of every five homes in this state have levels high enough to be considered dangerous.

The only way for you to know if your home has a radon problem is to test. The size, the age, the construction of your home doesn't matter.

You can find radon test kits at most hardware stores. You can also find them for $5 at Airchek.

College City Homes was one of the first builders to begin installing systems to rid homes of radon, a much cheaper option than installing one later on -- a difference between hundreds of dollars versus thousands.

Either cost, though, seems worth the money when you consider the case of Liz Hoffman, who spent $1,200 to make her home safer from radon.

Hoffman's battle with cancer continues, but she's already won her fight for change in Minnesota.

The radon bill was authored in the Senate by Sen. Linda Higgins of Minneapolis and in the House by Rep. Kim Norton of Rochester. It goes into effect Aug. 1.

Scott Patterson
05-10-2007, 01:40 PM
The city of Brentwood TN requires this as well. I think it is a great idea and it is cheap if it is done during construction.

Bruce Breedlove
05-10-2007, 03:25 PM
Not only is it cheaper to install radon mitigation while the house is being built, it is also:

More effective - The suction point can be centrally located instead of in a corner or along an exterior wall.

Less noticeable - The discharge pipe can be hidden inside an interior wall or chase and discharged through the roof so it looks like a plumbing vent and the fan can be located in the attic. This is much less noticeable and distracting than the fan and discharge pipe being installed along an exterior wall.

I don't know why more builders don't install a passive (no fan) radon mitigation system and sell it as an upgrade. Passive systems often reduce radon levels to below EPA's action level. A passive system can easily be upgraded to an active system by installing a fan. The total cost of the mitigation system installed during construction (active or passive later activated) is usually much less than a retrofitted mitigation system.

Unfortunately many builders have the attitude that if they install a radon mitigation system it may cause potential buyers to think the house has a radon problem.

Erby Crofutt
05-10-2007, 05:59 PM
In the late 90's Kentucky required builders to install a passive radon mitigation system. A lot of those have been activated.

HOWEVER, the builder's lobby subsequently got this removed from state law a few years later because it added a couple of hundred to the cost of building the home.

Now, it's all on the buyer to determine if they want a test or installing a mitigation system.